Adolescents and HIV: Theory-based approaches to education of nurses

Katharine E. Stewart, Ralph J. DiClemente, Dana Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV infection is increasingly prevalent in adolescents, and primary prevention programmes have been most effective when based on existing theories, including social cognitive theory (SCT). Nurses play an important role in assessing adolescents' risk for HIV infection and in recommending preventive behaviour change, if their comfort with these activities is increased. Practising nurses (n = 88, mean age = 40-8) from a university medical centre and surrounding hospitals participated in either a didactic or SCT-based workshop and a vignette-based assessment. Utilizing a randomized controlled design, this study compared the effectiveness of the two types of workshops by measuring HIV-related knowledge and attitudes, as well as comfort with and intent to perform HIV-related risk assessments. Differences in comfort and intent based on target patients' cultural descriptors were also evaluated. The SCT-based workshops yielded more positive results for all four outcome variables at the 8-week follow-up (F2,71 = 4.27, P < 0.02). Cultural stereotyping also appeared to play a role in nurses' intent to perform assessments (F2,74 = 11.81, P < 0-001). Suggestions for improving the workshops and incorporating other theory-based approaches are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999


  • Adolescents
  • Cultural differences
  • HIV
  • Nurses
  • Primary prevention
  • Risk assessment
  • Social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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